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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Congo's Odious Debt: External Borrowing and Capital Flight in Zaire
Authors:Ndikumana, Leonce
Boyce, James K.
Periodical:Development and Change
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:external debt
capital movements
Politics and Government
international relations
Economics and Trade
Abstract:During the regime of Mobutu Sese Seko, Congo (or Zaire as Mobutu renamed it in 1971) accumulated a public external debt of roughly fourteen billion American dollars. As this mounted, Mobutu and his associates siphoned off wealth from the country. By 1990, real capital flight from Zaire amounted to twelve billion American dollars. Including imputed interest earnings, the accumulated stock of Zairian flight capital reached nearly eighteen billion American dollars. There is a possibility that successor governments in Congo may be able to repudiate liability for the Mobutu regime's debts on the basis of the doctrine of odious debt, introduced in international law a century ago by the United States after it had won control over Cuba. Should this be so, creditors could then seek to recover their losses by identifying and impounding flight capital which was extracted from the country. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.